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Year B, Ordinary 18 (Proper 13, Pentecost+11), 2018 – Union!

July 31, 2018 / Molly Douthett / Ordinary Time

We’re back!! David got a new hard drive! And, it works! YAY!

We are continuing to work on only one passage through David’s sabbatical and have switched tracks this week from the Gospel lesson to the Epistle lesson. If you have been following us for a while, you may feel emboldened to try developing illustrations and special effects on your own. If so, the Old Testament passage is full of drama and intrigue with all manner of PEOPLE and SELF smart elements. The Gospel lesson has some BODY smart elements (food and eating) and EYE elements (imagining manna in the wilderness). We have two links in MUSIC smart below that include hymns and songs for each of these passages, as well. 


This week’s text is:

Ephesians 4:1-16 [01:58]

These verses from Paul are well used, especially anytime we do a survey on Spiritual gifts or want to seriously study the unity of the Body of Christ. Paul is writing in an attempt to unify a congregation that on the surface does not have much connection within its fellowship. How much contact would a Jew or a Gentile have in practice and theology? Well, Paul says, when we put Jesus and the cross into the mix, they have a great deal in common. How much connection do we have with one another today in our own Christian discipleship? Paul would urge us in the same manner – through Christ, we have union.

We didn’t come up with anything for MATH smart for the recording, but in working on the show notes here, one became obvious. Just look at the picture at the top of the page! Use a Venn diagram to talk about how the various gifts work together in the one body of Christ. In set theory, the union of two or more sets is the collection of all elements in both or all of the constituent sets. (This article might be help?) So in the diagram above, all the elements in set A plus all the elements in set B would be the union of set A and set B. Similarly, all the saints, with their different gifts and different backgrounds and different appearances but within the one body with one Lord through one baptism in the one Spirit make up a union of the saints.

In the episode, we begin in WORD smart wondering what mental images come to mind when Paul calls himself a “prisoner” of the Lord. We also got caught up in the phrase “blown about by every wind” demonstrating just how easy it is for that to happen! The special effect we suggest for EYE smart is one David has used that was quite effective! For BODY smart, find someone in your congregation who doesn’t mind being compared (favorably, of course) to a parent. Also, don’t forget leg day! Download the worksheet for an interpretive movement script of the first six verses of this passage.

We also have a way to read this passage rhythmically in MUSIC smart – see the worksheet for that, too! We have links to two websites with music suggestions for this passage (and the other passages for the day) below. Going back to wind in NATURE smart suggested windmills to me, and David found an article about hip dysplasia in dogs that may illustrate what happens when the body is NOT knit together with every ligament and sinew working properly. Since this passage is often used in spiritual gifts surveys, we think that’s a good way to plug into PEOPLE and SELF smart here. See the worksheet for questions you might raise.


Image Credit: created by me in Lucidchart. I have my permission to use it. As far as I know, you do, too.


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